Riverwalk OBGYN

Detecting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

06.04.24 in Gynecology

Detecting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Detecting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Accurate testing for detecting sexually transmitted infections (STI) is critical for treating infections before they spread. A recent CDC study shows that at least one in five Americans has an STI. While you may not experience obvious symptoms, left untreated, infections can lead to additional health complications.

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Common STIs and Symptoms

STIs or STDs are infections that are transmitted from one individual to another during sexual intercourse. Trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are the most common types of STDs that we see at our practice. Signs of these infections vary by gender and person. With this in mind, soon after exposure, signs of an STD in men may include:

  • Rash
  • Swollen glands in the groin area
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Burning with urination

But for females, because sexual organs are internal, signs of an STI are far less obvious. For this reason, detecting sexually transmitted infections in females can be confused with other conditions. For example, chlamydia symptoms can be confused with a urinary tract infection. Gonorrhea symptoms may be mistaken for a vaginal or bladder infection. And herpes symptoms can be misinterpreted as a skin rash or other condition.

It’s important to know that sometimes these infections may not cause any symptoms at all. Women may go months or even years without even knowing that they are infected. For women, these infections may eventually cause changes in their menstrual cycle, abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, or rashes.

Given the ramifications of these infections, you should get tested sooner rather than later to verify your STD status.

Detecting Sexually Transmitted Infections with Rapid STI Test

When comparing a traditional STI or STD to a rapid test, there’s a big difference in result time. For instance, traditional STI tests require your healthcare provider to send a sample to the lab for analysis. The turnaround time can be up to a week.

On the other hand, a rapid STI test can detect infections in under 30 minutes. And this test can detect trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea with 97 percent accuracy. It’s currently awaiting FDA-approval for men, but it has already been approved by the FDA for women.

Advantages of Rapid STI Tests

Rapid STI tests offer numerous advantages, allowing us to:

  1. Prevent re-infecting yourself or transmitting an infection to others. You will likely unknowingly infect someone else if you don’t know that you have an STI. And wearing a condom does not safeguard you from passing on the infection. If you don’t have any symptoms, you can potentially transit an STI to others. For these reasons, it’s crucial that you get the right treatment to prevent you from transmitting the infection to someone else.
  2. Treat you immediately in the same visit. During a traditional STI test, your healthcare provider may not give you an antibiotic until your results are in. This wait-time for test results is 5-7 days. Or they may give you antibiotics for at-home use to address their best guess of your diagnosis. Not only does this result in you taking more antibiotics than you need, but it can also be the wrong antibiotics.On the other hand, rapid STI tests allow us to test and deliver results in your same visit. So, you can go home with the right treatment as well as a lower risk of complications. Moreover, you get the treatment you need and avoid unnecessary antibiotics, which could increase resistance if future treatment is necessary.
  3. Curtail health complications such as infertility. Untreated infections can cause pelvic inflammatory disease because STDs affect the reproductive system. The infections can also lead to certain types of cancer or impair pregnancies. Consequently, you can lower the likelihood that an asymptomatic STI will lead to significant damage to your health if you receive prompt treatment.
  4. Notify partners expeditiously so that they can be tested. Detecting sexually transmitted infections early on means you have the information you need to talk to your partner. Doing so allows your partner to get tested so they stay healthy, and reduces further transmission to others.

Riverwalk OB/GYN Women’s Health Clinic Offers Rapid STI Testing

Even though STIs are common, they are also serious. For this reason, detecting sexually transmitted infections is important so that you can get tested if you think you may be infected. At Riverwalk OB/GYN Women’s Health Clinic, our female patients get rapid STI testing for trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

We use a self-swab method in a private room to collect the test sample. With 97 percent accuracy, you will have results in about 30 minutes. This allows you to go home with the right treatment at the time of diagnosis.

Because most STIs are curable with treatment, don’t wait to seek care if you suspect you have an infection. With same-day results for certain tests and walk-in availability, we can reduce your wait time. Plus, accelerate your path to an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment!

Request an Appointment at Riverwalk OBGYN in San Antonio

Book online or call (210) 402-6022 to schedule appointment about your possible STD.

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